When you’re reaching out to potential donors, it’s important to remember they’re normal people with busy lives.
Keeping that in mind, obviously the best time to ask for donations is not when someone is trying to wake up or sitting down for dinner.
Planning your communications properly could be the difference between success and failure for your fundraising campaign.
In this post, we’ll look at the best times to contact donors and ask for donations based on research.
If you’re fundraising for a nonprofit or campaign, check out our all-inclusive fundraising platform.
When Is the Best Time to Ask for Donations
Most fundraising campaigns use cold calls, donation emails, and text messages to solicit donations.
While each of these methods play an important part in your campaign, you need to carefully consider when you use them.
We’re going to take a closer look at the best days and times to:
- Make cold calls
- Send donation emails
- Text your donors
You can significantly increase your chances at successfully raising funds by simply contacting people at the right time, with the right type of communication.
Let’s look at the best times to ask for donations, according to research.
Best Time to Do Cold Calls
Cold calling is particularly important to time correctly.
It’s a pretty personal and disruptive form of communication, and getting it wrong can significantly harm your chances at successfully getting a donation.
Fear not though, we’ve scoured the internet and found data on the best days and times to cold call people.
Best Day to Make Cold Calls
According to research done by Gong, the best days to cold call people are on Wednesday and Thursday.
This is because most people are already into their workweek by then and will be more open to receiving calls.
Obviously, if you have the time – making calls every day from Monday to Friday would be much better for your campaign.
But if you don’t have much time, then you can optimize your cold calling by only reaching out on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Best Time to Make Cold Calls
Remember, when making calls you need to put yourself in your recipients’ shoes.
Think about their day and when they’d most prefer to be contacted.
According to research done by Revenue.io, the best time in the morning to call people is between 10am and 11am.
After they’ve had a chance to get their morning started and dealt with their most urgent tasks.
Other research by PhoneBurner says between 4pm and 5pm is still a good time to call donors.
Most people are finishing up their work day and looking for an excuse to stop working, meaning they’re more open to taking cold calls.
Worst Time to Make Cold Calls
The worst time to call potential donors is early in the morning, around lunch time, or after 5pm.
Early mornings, most people are still waking up and dealing with their most time-sensitive issues of the day.
Midday, they’re normally taking the time to relax during their lunch time, so they’d have very little motivation to answer your call.
After 5pm people are driving home or getting into their evening routines, putting issues of business and money out of their minds.
Calling people after workhours is more likely to irritate them than encourage curiosity and eagerness for your campaign.
Best Time to Send Donation Emails
Sending donation emails is a bit simpler than timing cold calls.
Emails are less intrusive, can be scheduled, and you can send thousands at a time.
It’s by far the most cost-effective method of outreach, but you still have to get the timing right to increase your chances of success.
Best Day to Send Donation Emails
According to research done by Seige Media, the best days to send emails are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.
Monday is by far the best day, but Tuesday and Wednesday still achieved a significant number of clicks and responses.
People are more receptive earlier on in the week because they’re recharged from the weekend, and this energy burns off as the week progresses.
So do yourself and your recipients a favor and send your emails early in the week before things quieten down later on in the week.
Best Time to Send Donation Emails
Siege Media found the best time to send donation emails is between 6am and 9am.
Open and response rates significantly declined after 10am, so getting your email into your recipients’ inbox early seems to be better.
Surprisingly, some studies have found that sending emails at 10am is best.
Either way, early morning is preferable if you want the best results because people will tend to start responding to emails they receive first in the day in case they’re urgent.
Worst Time to Send Donation Emails
Avoid sending emails on the weekend, because this would significantly reduce your chances at success.
According to Seige Media, you could see as little as 3% open rate with a tiny amount of those actually clicking or responding to you.
That’s 17% less than if you sent emails between 6am – 9am on a Monday.
So take advantage of human behaviors and time your donation request emails wisely.
Best Time to Send Text Blasts
Text messages have by far the best open-rate of any form of communication with 99% of texts being opened.
Obviously, like email and cold calling, you should carefully consider the best time to send text blasts based on your own testing.
However, if you want to know what our research says, we’ve got you.
Best Day to Send a Text Blast
According research conducted by Reach Interactive, text messages can be sent on both week days and weekends.
They’re not as intrusive as phone calls and don’t require the same consideration as outbound email.
So a good rule of thumb is to think about when your audience would be most receptive to considering your campaign:
Would they prefer being contacted during the week, or do you risk being drowned out by other communications?
Would they prefer the weekend, when they’ve got more time to think about issues beyond their jobs?
Our suggestion would be to test different days and see which days work best for your campaign.
Best Time to Send Text Blasts
According to Reach Interactive, the best time of day to send your text blasts is between 12pm and 3pm.
Since 97% of text messages are opened within the first 15-minutes of being received, you need to carefully consider what time you send your texts.
The best time to send text blasts is when your recipient is able to take the action you need of them.
Meaning, they shouldn’t be busy with other things and can give your message the attention it needs.
Worst Time to Send Text Blasts
Like we said, you need to time your text blast so that recipients receive them when they’ve got some free time.
The worst time to send text blasts is early to mid-morning and late afternoon or evening.
If you send them too early, you might get people opening your texts but not taking any action because they’re busy with other tasks and forget about your message.
If you send them too late, they might already have started their evening and will do everything they can to avoid communication that isn’t personal.
The times we’ve suggested in this article are best-practices based on a wide range of industries.
To optimize your own campaign, we highly recommend split-testing different call, email, and text times to see what works best for your audience.
For example, a younger audience will have completely different preferences to an older audience with more responsibilities.
So the only way to be sure is to do your own tests and see what your donors prefer.
Best of luck with your fundraising efforts!